Lemon and rosemary is not a typical flavor combination when it comes to desserts. However, it works really well in this shortbread.
This probably goes without saying, but last year was the longest year EVER. Actually, March was the longest year EVER (am I right?). I’m happy that it’s over and that we get a new start in 2021. Hopefully, this year will be much, much better.
Before the holidays, I received a mysterious package in the mail. When I looked at the return address, I saw that it was from my college roommate E. She had created several homemade goodies for us, including some cheese coins, peach jam and these shortbread cookies. Addie was so excited to dig in and ended up loving the shortbread so much that I asked for the recipe. E happily shared it with me, and I made a few minor adjustments.
First, the recipe called for rice flour, which I didn’t have and didn’t want to purchase, so I subbed with all-purpose flour. Second, I didn’t have a grapefruit (and am not a fan of the fruit) so I used fresh lemon juice instead. I baked my shortbread a little bit longer than E did, but I still got a really flaky and tasty cookie.
In fact, these might be one of my favorite savory cookies to date. Although I’m a huge chocolate fan, these lemon rosemary ones are a great alternative. They’re bright, citrusy and have a great flavor combo. I don’t know why we don’t see as much lemon rosemary dessert combos since they pair together really well in the shortbread.
Thanks for the recipe, E, and for your amazing holiday goodie package!
Husband’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Lemon rosemary shortbread cookies
- 1 and ½ cups plus ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar divided
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice can use about ½ teaspoon lemon extract as a substitute
- flaky sea salt for topping
- Line a standard 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper so it hangs over the rims (you'll want to have two sheets of parchment paper, so they form a + in the middle). Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and rosemary together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and ½ cup of the sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Add in the lemon juice (or extract) and mix well.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan. You may want to use an offset spatula to spread it out, since the batter will be fairly sticky. Make sure you smooth out the top into an even layer. Prick the top all over with a fork. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tablespoon of sugar on top (I used closer to 2) and then a few sprinkles of flaky sea salt on top.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the sides and tops are both a golden brown color.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cut into the shortbread (do not remove it from the pan). Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the shortbread into 4, 2-inch wide strips. Then turn the pan 90° and cut it into 8 equal pieces. You should end up with 32 rectangular pieces.
- Let the shortbread cool completely. You may need to re-cut the shortbread after it cools. Lift it out of the pan and serve (or store for later).